PROVO, Utah (KSTU) — A Utah elementary student has inspired her school to revamp its library.
Emi Kim had hoped to spread a positive message at her school, but the change has impacted the entire district.
Emi discovered books that featured characters similar to her in books.
The nine-year-old is Hawaiian, Polynesian Korean, Japanese, and Chinese.
Emi stated, “Humans–we’re afraid of the things we don’t understand.” “I think that’s partly why people treat people poorly based upon how they look, their culture or what they know about their culture.
Emi raised the issue with her school to make people more aware of her cultural background.
Kim Hawkins from Westridge Elementary, Provo, Utah, said that Emi had prepared a PowerPoint presentation and discussed how Caucasian characters, animals, and books were most heavily represented.
Emi, Emi’s aunt and mother devised a plan to add more books to the library. But Emi was well aware that the cost of bringing in the collection would be high. Emi started a lemonade stand and baked goods stand to offset the expenses.
She sold butter mochis, cupcakes and cookies as well lemonade. Emi not only earned enough money to buy 15 books at her school, but also enough to purchase 60 books for four additional schools in the area.
The Provo school district saw Emi’s drive and passion, and decided to take Emi’s idea one step further.
“Our district has taken the leap Emi made, and they have bought the books for all the elementary schools,” Hawkkins said. Emi is the reason that all our elementary schools have these wonderful books.
Emi’s Books is the name of the collection of books that Emi influenced to be purchased by the district.
Emi hopes that it will help students discover new things and make others like her feel more confident in their abilities.
She stated that she hopes all children will be inspired to make positive change.